I’m still not set on what kind of van to purchase. There are several options, and they all offer different things. I’m somewhat leaning toward a Ford E-250 or E-350 extended cargo van with a high top, but I haven’t found any on Craigslist yet. Shuttle buses configured for medical transportation seem more than abundant, and they’re sounding more and more enticing because there are several available at a decent price. Just rip out the wheelchair lift and the seats and we’re ready to rock and roll. I’ve emailed a few sellers with questions, and, in usual Craigslist fashion, no response.
That doesn’t mean that progress has to stop, however. I’ve assembled a preliminary layout in 3D based on rough specs for the Ford E-350. I need to make sure that whatever vehicle I buy will fit all of the large necessities. It’s going to be a little tight, but unless I’m forgetting something big, I think it’ll work.
To orient yourself to the render above, the bed is at the very back of the vehicle. The orange box with the magenta line in the middle of it is storage. The front half will open like a jewelry box. The back half will hinge open from the opposite side, and will also be accessible via the back doors of the van (assuming the van has back doors). The bed will probably be a trifold foam bed that can double as a couch or a chaise lounger with some pillows.
The circular things are wheel wells. The floating wood blocks are overhead storage. The white box closer to the camera is a fridge/freezer combo.
The white box further (farther? I never know which witch is which) from the camera is a 24 x 36 utility sink. The patterned thing above it is a shower curtain. Yes, I plan on taking showers in the sink. It’s a new level of craziness, folks. I plan to use a faucet with a pull out sprayer, and a shower head hook thingy to mount it high on the wall. Is it sanitary? Well, I wouldn’t eat off the shower tub, but I wouldn’t eat off my sink, either. A couple swipes with a Clorox wipe before preparing food will do just fine. A couple pieces of plywood will cover the sink to provide some counter space.
The orange column on the right is mostly storage. The black box in the center of it is a microwave. The horizontal orange box underneath the column and the white box is storage for a fresh water and a grey water tank. The space is large enough for two 15-gallon tanks.
It’d be nice to fit a folding desk somewhere, maybe one that folds out from the wall. I also need to put in small storage solutions, like a hook for my purse, a place to put a backpack, a toiletry cabinet, a small electronics charging station, and a shelf for shampoo and dish soap. And a place for Sake to sleep.
The colors are just placeholders. Orange doesn’t usually tickle my fancy, but I actually like how it looks in the render. It’s also gender neutral and brings energy to the space.
Layout and colors are fine and dandy to play with, but what really influences how an environment feels are finishes and lighting. Luckily, I have a few art director friends who are experts are those very things, so I’ll be consulting with them some time in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, let’s hope that someone some place will be looking to sell their used, low-milage, 12-20 mpg, extended van with a high top and list it on Craigslist. Fingers crossed.